The 2023 Tour de France is the most exciting cycling race of the year and this guide will help you gear up with your favorite contenders, route and more.
How to Watch the Tour de France
The Tour de France is a fun event to keep up with. Stage 1 kicks off on July 1 at 6 a.m. ET and it goes on until Stage 21 which starts on July 21 at 10 a.m. The event will be broadcast on NBC, USA and Peacock. Explore the full schedule below to find start times and channels.
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The 2023 Tour de France route
This year’s race will kick off in the Basque Country. This will be the first time that the Tour de France has started in the Basque Country since 1992. The route is full of mountains and hills, which bodes well for defending Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard. He was the best climber at the last two iterations of the Tour de France, and he’ll be able to show off his climbing ability again throughout this year’s hilly and mountainous route.
The route will finish up on stage 21 with a 115.1 km flat ride from Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines to Paris’ Champs-Élysées. In total, there will be 21 stages and two rest days. The 2023 Tour de France will start on July 1 and wrap up on July 23.
The Top Contenders to Win the Tour de France
We need to start off with the defending champion of the Tour de France, right? Vingegaard wowed the world last year when he upset Tadej Pogačar to win the 2022 Tour de France. Going into the 2022 Tour de France, Pogačar was the defending champion. In fact, Pogačar was looking for a three-peat after winning consecutive Tour de Frances.
However, the 2021 Tour de France runner-up Vingegaard had other plans. He used his impressive climbing skills during stage 11 on the Col du Granon to take the yellow jersey from Pogačar, who had been in the lead for five stages (stages 5-10). After taking the lead halfway through the Tour de France, Vingegaard never relinquished it. In fact, he extended his lead over Pogačar even further during stage 18 on the Pyrenees mountains.
Leading up to the Tour de France, Vingegaard has shown that he’s in tip-top shape. During the 2023 season, he finished in 1st at O Gran Camiño (with three stage wins), 3rd at Paris-Nice, 1st at Itzulia Basque Country (with three stage wins) and 1st at Critérium du Dauphiné (with two stage wins).
Vingegaard may be the defending Tour de France champion, but many people still consider Pogačar to be the best cyclist in the world. Pogačar has been ranked No. 1 on the UCI Men’s road racing world rankings for a record 102 weeks. Also, he won back-to-back Tour de Frances titles before he even turned 25. When he won his first Tour de France in 2020, he became the second youngest Tour de France winner at the age of 20. Going into the 2023 Tour de France, he’s just 24 years old. It would be wild to see the Slovenian cyclist win three Tour de Frances before the age of 25.
Unfortunately, he’s going into the 2023 Tour de France on the heels of an injury. He broke his wrist at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which knocked him off his bike for a few weeks. On the bright side, he’s back on his bike now, and he’s been getting back into shape for the Tour de France. Before he broke his wrist, Pogačar was dominating the 2023 UCI World Tour. He finished in 1st at Jaén Paraíso Interior, 1st at Ruta del Sol (with three stage wins), 1st at Paris-Nice (with three stage wins), 4th at Milan-San Remo, 3rd at E3 Classic, 1st at Tour of Flanders, 1st at Amstel Gold Race and 1st at La Flèche Wallonne.
Realistically, no one expects someone outside of Vingegaard and Pogačar to win the 2023 Tour de France. Vingegaard and Pogačar won the last three Tour de France races, and they’re both really young cyclists. With that in mind, Hindley is a long shot to win. But don’t count him out just yet: The mountainous and hilly terrain of this year’s Tour de France is perfect for the Australian climbing sensation, Hindley. It’ll be fun to watch him climb and try to catch Vingegaard and Pogačar.
A Brief History of the Tour de France
This year will mark the 110th edition of the Tour de France. The first-ever Tour de France took place in 1903. The race was originally started by the French newspaper L’Auto as a way to increase sales during their competition with rival newspaper Le Vélo. The Tour de France was hugely successful in its first year, and L’Auto’s circulation grew exponentially. This led to their rival Le Vélo closing its doors in 1904.
The record for most Tour de France wins is five. Four cyclists have won the Tour de France five times: Jacques Anquetil (1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964), Eddy Merckx (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974), Bernard Hinault (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985) and Miguel Induráin (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995).
Tour de France 2023 Schedule
Stage 1 – July 1 – 6 a.m. – Peacock | NBC
Stage 2 July 21 – 6 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 3 – July 3 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock | USA
Stage 4 – July 4 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock | USA
Stage 5 – July 5 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock | USA
Stage 6 – July 6 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock | USA
Stage 7 – July 7 – 7 a.m. – Peacock | USA
Stage 8 – July 8 – 6 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 9 – July 9 – 7:05 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 10 – July 11 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 11 – July 12 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 12 – July 13 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 13 – July 14 – 7 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 14 – July 15 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 15 – July 16 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 16 – July 18 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 17 – July 19 – 6 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 18 – July 20 – 6:30 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 19 – July 21 – 7 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 20 – July 22 – 7 a.m. – Peacock
Stage 21 – July 23 – 10 a.m. – Peacock
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